synths as investment

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KBD_TRACKER
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synths as investment

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:22 am

do you consider buying a synth that you know you don't really need, or don't even really like, or won't play much, mostly because you expect it to appreciate in value, do you consider that an ethical decision ???

asking this because i could see justifications on both sides.

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Re: synths as investment

Post by Psy_Free » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:33 pm

No. I'd rather someone who will play it gets it.
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Re: synths as investment

Post by ned-ryarson » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:43 pm

Yawn...

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Re: synths as investment

Post by syntheticsolutions » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:58 pm

Psy_Free wrote:No. I'd rather someone who will play it gets it.
Absolutely where I stand. I can't stand the profiteering attitude towards synths, especially vintage ones. It simply creates a void for musicians and places these fantastic instruments in the hands of wealthy collectors that barely give them the time of day (in my experience).

There is something very pleasing when you see, hear or read of an artist using a 30 year old instrument on a modern day record or on stage. i don't know why but it is, for me anyhow.

No point trying to change things though, this sort of stuff happens in all areas of vintage merchandise where there is a market. People are always going to be out to make a buck :roll:
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Re: synths as investment

Post by Hybrid88 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:22 pm

hmm, I find it kinda weird really.

Personally I'm in it because of the music and interest. So I'm not really thinking I'm going to sell it to make money.

I've gotta say the whole idea of people sitting on something for no good reason but to make money kinda shits me though, it just creates false demand while prices skyrocket and force people out of the market.

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Re: synths as investment

Post by zoomtheline » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:52 pm

Yep, pisses me off as I know I'll never be able to make music with dream synths, they are just that, dream.

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Re: synths as investment

Post by Ned Bouhalassa » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:08 pm

Sometimes these days, it feels like most of the higher end synths have been sucked out of this city by international collectors. I used to see many more $ 2,000 + vintage synths on CL than now. I wonder if this is indeed the case, and if you guys have noticed it too in your city?
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Re: synths as investment

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:16 pm

In some ways, we are lucky in our neck of the woods in the sense that there's not much market for 'expensive' or boutique synths either for play or investments. That's probably part of the reason I got a MacBeth M5 for 3.5k and a Kronos 73 for $1000.

I see nothing wrong with someone taking an old synth and reconditioning them for a profit.
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Re: synths as investment

Post by zoomtheline » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:18 pm

I have never really been in contact with any high end synths except when I'm getting a synth serviced, nor have I known a time when you could pick them up for cheap. I guess I have only been back interested in synths for the past 12 or so years.

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Re: synths as investment

Post by V301H » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:19 pm

I asked my (former) financial advisor what he thought about investing in vintage keyboards and guitars. I told him the kind of prices these items were selling for in today's market. He had absolutely no interest and advised me to invest in a particular mutual fund he just happened to sell. That was the last he saw of me.
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Re: synths as investment

Post by commodorejohn » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:44 pm

If it's a synth I want to use, I'm not going to avoid using it in order to keep it in pristine condition. If it's not a synth I want to use, I'd be better off putting the money toward something I actually do want. "Investment" collecting is stupid.
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Re: synths as investment

Post by Jabberwalky » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:50 pm

Yeah. I suppose I'm lucky that there are a ton of vintage synth users in PIttsburgh, so I've either owned, or used most of them :)

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Re: synths as investment

Post by Cumulus » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:03 pm

They are only a very short-term investment if you can get one cheap enough to flip.

When I flip a synth it is because I was able to get it at a cheap enough price so that the buyer still gets a good deal. I look at it as a public service. If I buy a $1,000.00 synth for $600 and sell it for $800 I have made some money and the buyer has saved some money. Yes, I could make more money by selling it for $1,000 but this way I can sleep at night.

As far as people holding onto synths creating a demand, I disagree.

Someone owning or even hoarding synths has absolutely zero effect on demand. It can affect supply, though, which could cause the prices to rise.

I don't think there is a such thing as false demand. It's just demand.

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Re: synths as investment

Post by recordbot » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:26 pm

commodorejohn wrote:If it's a synth I want to use, I'm not going to avoid using it in order to keep it in pristine condition. If it's not a synth I want to use, I'd be better off putting the money toward something I actually do want. "Investment" collecting is stupid.

I have to whole heatedly agree with this sentiment,

it's kind of like Peter max and his parking garage full of Corvettes, he hasn't even thought about them since he bought them on a lark in 1989 and let them sit rotting,

a classic car much like a classic synth has to be cared for to maintain it's condition and thus it's value, even if you never really drive your classic vette and put any miles on it you still have to turn the car over once a week to keep everything working, that is a valued thing in itself,

same goes with a synth, which is why they're best left to people who use and love them, they need to be used to maintain their working condition, haven't you ever heard of brand new vintage boxed never opened synths coming out of hibernation and needing work?

well they do, if they weren't being used the likelihood of needing repairs is greatly increased which is why they're pretty unsuitable as investment pieces strictly for investment's sake, not to say they won't ever increase in value, just that it's a niche if there ever was one, you need a piece that wealthy artists/collectors need/want to have, they have to be newer artists/collectors who don't have them already,

the huge demand/prominence has to be there for the price to reach early gibson levels and everything has to work and newer products can't have replaced the type of sound the synth is known for with the current analog renaissance happening may eliminate all but a few models if the trend keeps up.

Malcolm Cecil still has a monthly laundry list of calibrations for the TONTO he performs and he plays the thing regularly, now imagine you're just a rich colector guy and you don't even play synths, pretty giant waste of time and money to do that yourself or hire someone else to do it for you

getting deep into a thing that requires your time on a regular basis as well as even more time investigating professionals to help you maintain your "investment" because let's be real here, just because your local electronics guy says he'll work on your broken synth doesn't mean letting him do it is a good idea, pretty easy way to lose your money there letting some schmo work on your keys when he doesn't have any experience or know exactly what he's doing,



when you account for all the time needed caring for the synth it really becomes more of a labor of love type situation even if the things eventually end up getting money past the 100K mark which so far as I know the priciest vintage synths are complete Moog modular systems that tend to fetch about half that or a bit more.


ultimately I think Synths as an investment are pretty poor, although they seem to be going up in value in some cases it's always been a volatile market which is trend happy and prices can fluctuate wildly day to day

I'd love to imagine a day when these instruments are respected financially as much as classic guitars but I think we're a long way off from that and truth be told that day may never come which is all the same to me

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Re: synths as investment

Post by yorgatron » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:23 pm

recordbot wrote:
a classic car much like a classic synth has to be cared for to maintain it's condition and thus it's value
I have a couple of classic cars, and I have a couple of classic synths, as well as a few other classic keyboards.

I have occasionally made money fixing and then selling them (cars and synths) but generally it's a labor of love.

neither hobby is well suited to daily use.

the other thing is, most of the people I know don't share my love for these relics.
if someone needs a ride somewhere we go in the Nissan Versa, because it's quiet and gets good mileage.
the other guys in my band like the sounds in my Casio XW-P1.
I'm trying to get another band going, one where I can bring all my vintage stuff and set it up and play a gig on a big stage, for a big crowd, but that may never happen.

until then I just think of myself as the caretaker.

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